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Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Blago Teaching History, Actively Involved in Appeal

Blagojevich reported to a Colorado federal prison on March 15, 2012

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On one-year anniversary of Rod Blagojevich's incarceration, both his wife and an attorney give details on the former governor's life behind bars. Phil Rogers reports. (Published Friday, Mar 15, 2013)

    Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is spending his time in federal prison teaching Civil War history and learning to play the guitar, while his attorneys work on an appeal, his wife said on Friday, the one-year anniversary of the beginning of his 14-year term for corruption.

    "All that we have been left with is a aching hole in our lives," Patti Blagojevich also said in a Facebook post. Glenn Selig, a longtime spokesman for Rod Blagojevich, confirmed the posting was from Patti Blagojevich.

    Blagojevich reported to a Colorado federal prison on March 15, 2012. Jurors had convicted him on 18 counts, including charges that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat.

    Lauren Kaeseberg is among the attorneys working on the appeal to be filed next month. She said the former governor has found a variety of ways to occupy his free time.

    "He's been doing a lot of reading. He's actually, you know, been sort of tinkering with different musical instruments with other inmates," she said Friday.

    Kaeseberg added that Blagojevich has been doing a lot writing, keeping journals of his experiences behind bars and reflecting on various parts of his life.

    Blagojevich speaks with his family every evening and see his wife and children roughly every face weeks. Kaeseberg said those visits are bittersweet, at best.

    In her post, Patti Blagojevich lamented the fact that her husband is missing events in his family's lives. The couple has two daughters, and she said he has missed birthdays, holidays and music recitals.

    "The loss feels all consuming," she wrote. "Unfortunately, those moment have been stolen from my children and there is no getting them back."

    Blagojevich appears to be postive about his case, and Kaeseberg said her client has taken an active role in the appeal process.

    "Rod will remember a phone call on a particular day, what day of the week it was, what others did that day, what the weather was like. And, I mean, the one thing that's really amazing about this case is that nothing Rod has ever told us was ever wrong," she said.

    Blagojevich's scheduled release date is May 23, 2024. If he stays in prison until then, he'd be 67 years old upon release.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.